C&A Transmission and Auto Repair

Servicing Spring, Houston, and surrounding areas since 1988

C&A Transmission and Auto Repair - Servicing Spring, Houston, and surrounding areas since 1988

What Spring Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

There are some things Spring auto owners should know about Spring car service and repair. First and foremost, C&A Transmission & Auto Repair cares about you and your family’s safety. And we really appreciate your business. C&A Transmission & Auto Repair in Spring wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.

Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix cars. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The personable service advisors that work for C&A Transmission & Auto Repair need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other service specialists to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.

The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time in TX and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. Average Spring or Spring car owners may not realize the business and environmental regulations C&A Transmission & Auto Repair must comply with. Of course that costs money too. Like any TX business, overhead is a big factor.

When you go into your favorite Houston restaurant you don’t value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you’ll come back and tell your friends.

It’s the same for C&A Transmission & Auto Repair. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, Spring customers are happy to see them succeed as a TX automotive business.

Contact C&A Transmission & Auto Repair to learn more about our extensive auto service training.
You can find us at:
20336 Holzwarth Road
Spring, TX 77388
Or call us at 888.372.3223

At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, we love to see our Spring customers whenever they come in, but we would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. We want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your Houston area friends and family to come in for their important scheduled maintenance too. That lowers our marketing costs and helps keep its labor rates down. That’s good for everyone in Spring.

C&A Transmission & Auto Repair appreciates this great review of automotive service from AutoNetTV.

On Board Diagnostics For Spring Motorists

Some Spring car owners wonder why C&A Transmission & Auto Repair and other Spring auto repair shops charge a fee for diagnostic services.

Think about it: When you hire a local Houston HVAC technician to check out a problem with your air conditioner you’ll probably pay a diagnostic fee. When you visit your Hufsmith doctor for a health problem, you pay the physician to diagnose the ailment and of course for the tests that go along with it.

On Board Diagnostics For Spring Motorists

So receiving a diagnostic charge at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair for a tricky automotive problem shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Houston area, automotive diagnostics can cover quite a range. If you hear a noise in your family car brakes when you slow down in rush-hour traffic on a busy TX freeway, you pull off the next off-ramp and take a quick visual check. That is usually enough to know what needs to be done. If you’re having an intermittent problem with your family car engine, however, C&A Transmission & Auto Repair diagnosis may be much more involved.

Much of the Houston motorists’s confusion comes when the problem involves the check engine light. The check engine light comes on when the engine management computer has sensed a problem.

There’s a common misconception among Hufsmith, Spring, and Tomball drivers that the trouble code tells the C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technician exactly what’s wrong. They wonder why there is a diagnostic charge – because the scanner quickly gave the diagnosis.

In reality, it is not that easy and straightforward. The computer monitors many sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of these sensors has a reading that’s out of parameters, the computer will record a trouble code and turn on the check engine light.

The family car computer’s trouble code just tells the C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technician what engine parameter is out of range – not what’s causing it. The technician needs to determine the underlying problem that’s causing the malfunction.

There are many problems that could cause a troublesome sensor reading for C&A Transmission & Auto Repair customers. The C&A Transmission & Auto Repair service advisor makes a list of the most likely causes and begins tracking down the source of the problem. This takes time.

Houston service centers subscribe to databases that document possible causes for all the possible trouble codes. The databases outline procedures for confirming a diagnosis and provide the documented repair. These critical databases are specific to each vehicle and engine combination.

Some diagnoses are quick and easy. Others are more involved, time-consuming, and difficult. Of course C&A Transmission & Auto Repair wants to figure out what’s wrong with your family car and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Service Center Standard and Procedures


All TX pilots have checklists for every aspect of flying. They always use their checklists even if they only have two steps on them. They do this simply because a checklist is a great way to not forget important steps. It is also how they can assure a predictable outcome.

That is why Hufsmith and Spring automotive service centers including C&A Transmission & Auto Repair have procedural standards for each service they perform. C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technicians are trained step by step. And they perform the procedures step by step, the same way each time. By training to procedural standards, TX centers can assure a quality outcome. The job is done right every time and Spring car owners leave happy with how their family car performs.

Each company trains its technicians to standards. The TX automotive industry as a whole is very committed to standards of excellence and encourages individual TX service center operators including Carlisle Aspinall (manager at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair) to apply them to every vehicle they service.

An example is how C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technicians grade problems and communicate their recommendations. If your technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

The part no longer performs its intended purpose
The part does not meet a design specification
The part is missing

The service specialist may suggest repair or replacement if:

The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
To comply with maintenance recommended by the auto maker
Based on the technician’s informed experience

Here are some examples:

An exhaust pipe has rusted through and is leaking. Replacement is key because the part has failed. If the pipe were rusted, corroded or weak, but not leaking, the tech may suggest it be replaced because it is near the end of its useful life and replacing it now may be more convenient for the Spring client.

Suppose a customer wants to improve his car’s handling, but his shocks haven’t failed. The service professional may suggest replacement of the shocks to satisfy the customer’s wishes.

Under these guidelines the Spring car repair shop must refuse partial service of a required repair if the repair creates or continues an unsafe condition.

Let’s say a customer has a cracked brake rotor. This is a dangerous condition that must be repaired. If the customer does not want to replace the rotor, but instead just wants new brake pads installed, the shop must ethically refuse the partial repair. That can be an upsetting conversation, but understanding that Spring service centers operate under service standards and procedures is comforting. You want your service to be done right and to have confidence in your technician’s recommendations.

The TX automotive service industry and C&A Transmission & Auto Repair want the best for you and for you to keep coming back. AutoNetTV is committed to providing automotive maintenance information to help you be confident in your service decisions.

Arrive Alive In Spring

We’ve all seen TX motorists do crazy things while driving to or from Houston. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. It’s a wonder we even dare drive on TX roads.

The truth is that all of us Spring auto owners are distracted when we drive. Unfortunately, traffic, road construction and other dangerous external factors are beyond our control. The distractions inside our car, however, are things we can often control.

Here’s some things that’ll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around Houston, TX.

  • Spring drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player.
  • Spring auto owners who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children.
  • Those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle.

Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it harder to pay attention to driving – no matter what age we are. It is always better to pull over and take a quick nap than risk falling asleep at the wheel. Spring auto owners are also distracted by thinking about relationships, family issues, money and bills. So what can Spring drivers do to manage these harmful distractions? Well, the first thing is to eliminate as many as we can.

When you get in your car, make sure you’re belted in; that the seats, steering wheel and mirrors are adjusted; and your radio or CD player is ready.

Secure any loose objects in the car that can fall on the floor and interfere with your driving.

If you have a drink, make sure it’s spill-proof and put in a cup holder. Spring auto owners’ pets should also be contained.

TX motorists with kids in the car should make sure they’re clipped in their seat belts or safety seats. You may want to give them some distractions to help keep them quiet and sitting in their seats. Don’t get involved in their arguments while you’re driving. Pull over if you need to find a toy or break up a fight.

If you eat while driving, choose simple finger foods that aren’t messy.

Learning your car’s controls before you drive is another key way to improve your safety. Learn how to work the radio by touch. Controls located on the steering wheel can help Spring car owners keep their eyes on the road.  The same goes for heating and air conditioning controls.

If you have to use a cell phone, a hands-free system is best. But remember, the biggest cell phone distraction isn’t the phone itself – it’s the conversation. Keep conversations brief and light, or pull over if you can. Your essential reaction time is much slower when talking and driving, so allow more space between you and the car ahead of you. Know your local Houston laws – it may be illegal to be on the phone. Never text while driving! This has already caused many deaths and injuries in TX over the last few years.

And if you really think you have to shave, change your clothes or put on make-up while driving in Spring – you’re wrong. Just start getting ready earlier so you have enough time to finish those things before you drive around Spring.

C&A Transmission & Auto Repair
20336 Holzwarth Road
Spring, TX 77388
713.960.4534

It’s key to remember that driving is probably the most dangerous thing you’ll do all day – so don’t make it any worse. Use these tips to keep you and your loved ones safer behind the wheel in Spring.

Your Well Trained Technician At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair

When your family car has a problem, or just needs some routine service, you might get a little nervous. Your car’s so important to your life in Spring, you need to back on the road as soon as possible – with the problem fixed right the first time.

If you’ve ever checked into some of the technician training C&A Transmission & Auto Repair professionals receive, you may be surprised at how much specialized knowledge and skill goes into diagnosing and repairing a modern car. For example: Today there are four cylinder engines that generate more power than the 1980s-era V-8’s. I mean a new V-6 Toyota Camry could beat Sonny Crocket’s Ferrari in a race to sixty.

Your Well Trained Technician At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair

Our engines are more and more powerful and at the same time their fuel economy keeps inching up – even with steep Spring gas prices. They are also amazingly reliable: Kudos to the automotive engineers at the leading vehicle manufacturers. But the advances come at the price of simplicity. The modern cars Spring car owners drive around TX freeways are so much more complex from a mechanical standpoint that it makes your head spin – not to mention the electronics.

Some family cars have several networked computers controlling most of the engine functions and many other vehicle operations as well. Spring motorists take all of this sophistication for granted – but somebody has to fix it when it breaks. It’s a real challenge for Spring C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technicians to keep up, but we work hard to stay ahead of the technology. It requires a high level of commitment on the part of the technicians and the Spring service centers as well.

C&A Transmission & Auto Repair technicians receive training through a combination of formal classroom training, training provided at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair by parts and equipment manufacturers, on-line courses and home study courses.

In addition to the expensive training, there’s the financial commitment for C&A Transmission & Auto Repair to purchase the diagnostic and repair tools.

There are many independent certifications available at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair all the way up to Master Technician. The ability to repair your family car requires a strong combination of training and resources. No one can know everything, so Spring auto service centers subscribe to data services, technical libraries and even on-line communities that can help them when they run into a difficult problem.

It’s like those medical diagnosis shows on TV. Here are the symptoms – what’s the diagnosis and treatment? Diagnosis is every bit as much an art as a science. At C&A Transmission & Auto Repair, we want everything to be simple, straightforward and inexpensive – but sometimes it just isn’t.

The next time you bring us your family car, don’t worry. You’re in good hands at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair.

On Board Diagnostics For Your family car

Make an appointment with C&A Transmission & Auto Repair to have your on board diagnostics analyzed.
20336 Holzwarth Road
Spring, TX 77388
713.896.1107

Today we’re going to talk about on-board diagnostics and the questions we hear from folks around Spring TX who need answers about diagnostic services. They want to know what diagnostics are, what’s involved and what the benefits are. They really want to understand the value of diagnostic scans by a trained technician in Spring TX.

These are valid concerns. If you don’t understand something it’s really hard to know its value. Let’s start with some history.

Since 1996, all cars and light trucks in Spring TX have been required to use a standardized diagnostic system to help repair technicians determine what’s wrong with your vehicle. The diagnostic system works with the vehicle’s Engine Control Module – the computer that controls many engine functions.

The computer monitors dozens of components and processes. Depending on what the sensors read, the computer will make adjustments to compensate for conditions and minor problems. When there is a condition that it can’t adjust for, the computer will turn on the check engine light.

It is also called the ‘service engine soon’ light on some vehicles. The warning light signals you to get into your Spring TX service center so that the trouble code can be read and the problem can be fixed. Your service center will have a scan tool and powerful software that will help the technician diagnose the problem.

If you’ve searched for check engine light on the internet, you may have seen that you can buy an inexpensive scanner or go to an auto parts store to have the trouble code read to tell you exactly what’s wrong.

That’s a common myth. The code itself doesn’t tell you what’s broken. It starts you looking in the right place. It tells you what engine parameter is out of range – but it won’t tell you what’s wrong or how to fix it.

Let’s say you think your daughter has a fever. You take her temperature and it reads one 102 degrees. You’ve confirmed a fever, but you don’t know what’s causing it. Is it a 24 hour flu, an infection, appendicitis or leukemia? A fever is a symptom of all of these medical problems, but it takes a skilled physician’s examination and additional diagnostic tests to find out what is actually causing the fever.

An example of a trouble code could be: P0133, which reads ‘Bank 1 sensor 1 circuit slow response’. This means that the front oxygen sensor has a slow response time to changes in the air-fuel mix. If that’s all you knew about cars, you would think your oxygen sensor was broken and would replace it. Now, it could be the oxygen sensor – but it could also be a bad or contaminated airflow sensor, exhaust leak, electrical problem, an intake manifold leak or any of a number of other things.

You can imagine a lot of oxygen sensors have been replaced because of that code. So the on-board diagnostics point the way to where the trouble lies, but it takes some skill and high-tech equipment to actually pinpoint the problem. The cheap scan tools that a consumer can buy do not have the ability to retrieve some of the operating history that’s stored in the engine control computer. That history’s very helpful in diagnosing the problem. Service centers like C&A Transmission & Auto Repair invest a lot of money in high-end diagnostic tools to help solve the mystery and get you back on the road as soon as possible without replacing a lot of parts that don’t need replacing.

So, on-board diagnostics provide a powerful starting place for a highly-trained, well-equipped technician to get to the bottom of your problem. When your check engine light comes on, get it checked at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair. If the light burns steady – don’t panic. Get in to C&A Transmission & Auto Repair soon to have the engine scanned. A flashing check engine light means that there is a severe engine problem. Get in as soon as you can – waiting too long can lead to very expensive damage.

And try to not drive at high speed or tow or haul heavy loads with a flashing check engine light.

Ethics of Automotive Repair in Spring

We’re going to be talking about the ethics of automotive repair. It seems like news outlets really like hit-and-run reporting; they hit everyone from groceries stores to retail to physicians. And the Spring automotive service and repair industry hasn’t been given a pass either.

Unfortunately, every profession in Spring has some bad actors that hurt the reputation of everyone else. On the automotive side, industry associations and professional licensing organizations are very committed to high ethical standards.

Yet some people remain uncomfortable with Spring automotive service and repair. It may start with the fact that our vehicles are a big investment and we rely on them for so much in our lives. That alone guarantees our attention. And how well we understand the recommendations really impacts our comfort level.

If we understand what’s recommended and the benefits of taking care of the work – and the pitfalls of putting it off – we’ll have more trust in the recommendation. So communication is key. It’s like going to the doctor; If she’s using medical jargon and takes a lot of basic medical knowledge for granted, we have a hard time following her train of thought. It can be like that with your Spring service advisor too. He’s so familiar with all things automotive, he may forget you don’t know a PCV from an EGT.

If you don’t understand what your doctor’s talking about: ask some questions. If you don’t understand what your Spring automotive advisor’s talking about: ask some questions.

Let’s go back to those ethical standards; when we hear a repair recommendation, we always ask ourselves, “Is this really necessary?” Well, here’s the industry standard:

If a technician tells you that a repair or replacement is required it must meet the following criteria:

  1. The part no longer performs its intended purpose
  2. The part does not meet a design specification
  3. The part is missing

For example, it you take your car in for a grinding noise when you step on the brakes, you may just think you need new brake pads. After the inspection, the technician at C&A Transmission & Auto Repair says that you have a cracked rotor and need to replace it.

If you tried to get him to simply put new pads on, he would say that if you didn’t want to replace the rotor; C&A Transmission & Auto Repair would ethically have to refuse the repair.

To just put pads on a cracked rotor would have been very wrong. The brakes could’ve failed at anytime and needed to be repaired – not just have a band-aid slapped on them.

Now, looking at something not so serious, the technician may suggest repair or replacement if:

  1. The part is close to the end of its useful life – just above discard specifications or likely to fail soon
  2. To address a customer need or request – like for better ride or increased performance
  3. To comply with maintenance recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  4. Based on the technician’s informed experience

Of course, the technician has the burden of making ethical recommendations and properly educating their customers. For the customer, if you are uncomfortable with a recommendation, ask some questions. More information is always a good thing.